Last updateFri, 16 Oct 2020 1pm

To mask or not to mask ... that is the question

At first we were told categorically that only people with coroanvirus symptoms, or those caring for the sick, need wear masks during the current pandemic.

pg16aThe debate on their relative effectiveness is now changing.

The original message was still being plugged earlier this week by senior World Health Organization personnel, with Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, pointing out that people not used to surgical masks often constantly adjust them, bringing their hands needlessly close to or touching their face – a primary cause of infection.

Nonetheless, the use of masks in most Asian nations has been de rigueur from the very start of the epidemic. Almost everyone uses them. Even the WHO has admitted this might have helped reduce infection.

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